So you’ve had your baby, CONGRATULATIONS!, as the days roll on the more sleep deprived you become and feel like you may loose your mind! Don’t worry, all new parents have been there. Even though my 3 children are now teenagers, I remember those delirious first few days like it was yesterday.
Now, as a newborn photographer settling babies has become second nature to me (sometimes though, baby just wants mum!) and clients call me “The Baby Whisperer” for my talent in settling new babies. I’m often invited around for the midnight shift when baby is unsettled! We always chat at the photo session about what works to help new baby’s sleep longer, so here are 3 tips to help with your newborns sleep.
1. Act on the first sign of sleepiness.
Tuning into your baby’s tired signs ensures she doesn’t get overtired. Usually newborns will wake, feed and either fall asleep straight after feeding or stay awake for a short amount of time. If your baby stays awake for some bonding time, watch for tired signs. Tired signs are staring off into space, disinterested in her surroundings and grizzling, then she is probably starting to get tired.
It’s best to not wait too long when you see these’s cue’s as your baby will get overtired and be harder to settle to sleep.
When newborns are born, they have what is called ‘The Startle Reflex”, this is when they suddenly extend their arms and legs, arch their backs and curl everything back in again.
My best bit of advice to new parents is to swaddle your baby. Some parents say ‘I tried but my baby hated it’. But what she hates today, might work days later. If you aren’t swaddling your baby and she is only sleeping short amount of time, her startle reflex could be waking her up, so try swaddling again. Swaddling too loosely is common and results in your baby becoming hodini! There are many swaddles on the market so try different ones till you find one that works best for your baby. Most newborns like to be swaddled with their hands up near their face.
3. White noise.
For 9 months your bundle has been living it up in the snug comfort of your womb. It’s warm, loud and snuggly in there. Often when new baby’s arrive, the quiet of the outside teamed with sudden loud noises can keep baby awake.
There are plenty of white noise options out there, from Apps on your phone to white noise machines. The aim of the white noise is to muffle outside sounds not completely drown them out. During your newborn photography session, I use an App on my phone of a mother’s heartbeat and swooshing noises as heard from in the womb.
Sometimes, these things won’t work and baby is having an off day (like we all do some days!) and is unsettled and that’s ok. Be kind to yourself and remember, your baby will grow so quickly so enjoy as many cuddles as you can get!
I found these 3 tips to be most helpful in settling new babies to sleep, whether it was my babies, friends babies or clients babies.